Heart Healthy Chicken Noodle Soup
Hello February! We are in full winter mode even in Florida! We've had some pretty chilly temps here already and when it's cold like this I like to cuddle up with a warm cup of tea or a hearty soup. Let's also remember that we are celebrating American Heart Month. Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women and it's never been more important. People with poor cardiovascular health are also at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. You can do a lot to protect your heart and stay healthy. And one of those is through the type of foods you eat.
Heart-healthy food choices include lean protein sources and healthy fats. Try to limit salty foods as well and watch your portions. Basically, an overall healthy dietary pattern that emphasizes:
fruits and vegetables
low-fat dairy products
lean poultry and fish
nuts and legumes
One heart-healthy meal that's simple to make and oh so good in the winter is homemade chicken noodle soup. With this recipe, you can double up the ingredients and freeze what you don't use for another meal. It will freeze well up to three months.
This is a basic, no-muss-no-fuss type recipe so feel free to add other vegetables to the soup if you so desire.
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
Makes 6 Servings
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 medium carrots (thinly sliced)
2 medium ribs of celery, leaves discarded, thinly sliced
1 small onion (diced)
4 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, all visible fat discarded, cut into bite-size pieces.
3 cups water
3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 ounces dried no-yolk noodles
Heat the oil in the pressure cooker on sauté. Cook the carrots, celery, and onion for 3 minutes, or until the carrots and celery are tender and the onion is soft, stirring frequently. Stir in the broth, chicken, water, parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper.
Secure the lid. Cook on high pressure for 12 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then quickly release any remaining pressure. Remove the pressure cooker lid.
Set the pressure cooker to sauté. Heat until the soup comes to a simmer. Stir in the noodles. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the noodles are tender, stirring frequently.
Serve with multi-grain crackers or rolls.
To learn more about American Heart Month or to get more involved, visit the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.